Object #1020072 from MS-Papers-0032-0325
8 pages written 1 Sep 1869 by Philip Harington in Tauranga to Sir Donald McLean
From: Inward letters - Philip Harington, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0325 (36 digitised items).
36 letters written from Tauranga, Wellington & Auckland, 1869-1876. Includes letter from Hartington to Stafford, Jun 1869
A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.
Sep. 1st, 1869
My dear McLean,
I have written you ''officially'' about the supply of provisions and ammonition to Taupo and I trust you will find my explanation satisfactory. I have done my very utmost to carry out your views, and have always consulted with Clarke about it - He thinks with me that St. George is representing to you more strongly of the necessity of having a European garrison than the real facts warrant - He applied both to me and Clarke for it before, and we both told him that we did not consider it necessary - Since then some 70 other natives have gone up at Pohipi's request which makes the native force at Tapuaehareru something like 200 strong, though the additional 70 are not on pay - Both Clarke and myself hesitated to send Europeans on account of the enormous cost of transport and it was the fact that we know how anxious the Govt. were to spend no unnecessary money that made us. come to that decision - I cannot see how you will provide Europeans with meat, for nobody would contract to feed so small a force, as the expense of taking up stock in small numbers would be very great, and there is no feed to keep a large supply even if it
was taken up - Do not I beg of you, think that I wish to throw obstacles in the way; on the contrary I am most anxious that everything should be done with economy and efficiency - I am quite pleased with the way the men are now behaving, and they take the greatest interest in learning their drill - I teach them myself and am on parade every morning at 7.30 - It is quite distressing to see how little they know of the use of their rifles - I am taking 20 men at a time through a course of musketry instruction and will send you returns of their firing - It is worse than useless waste of money to have men going into the field thoroughly untrained and unfit to meet the enemy - It is a matter of indifference by what name men are designated, but if ''fighting'' is their business, they should be trained to shoot. The cry of ''demilitarising'' appears to me to require explanation, for if the object is that they should have no knowledge of how to cope with their enemy, the force was complete as it stood 3 months ago - I will guarantee that if you see the men now under my command in 3 months' time, you will acknowledge their superiority in every way not only in drill and discipline but in behaviour - I fear
that if you insist on sending a small number to Taupo, they will desert, as they know that they will not be so well off as here - and they will lose the opportunity of becoming efficient and ready for any work if required - Major Roberts is most anxious to learn his work and says that he has never had any chance of doing so before and has frequently felt the want of it on service - Confidence in himself is one of the first essentials in an officer and without knowledge, how can he have it? You asked me to write candidly to you and I do so, because I know that I am right - Results prove assertions, and I am quite prepared to be judged by them.
Inward letters - Philip Harington, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0325 (36 digitised items)
Series 1 Inward letters (English), Reference Number Series 1 Inward letters (English) (14501 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)
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